Sam and Emma host David Roediger, American Studies professor at the University of Kansas, to discuss his latest book, The Sinking Middle Class: A Political History, on the relatively recent phenomena of centering the middle class in political rhetoric and how both parties use it as a cudgel to beat back progressive policy. They walk through the development of the “middle class” designation as a largely European concept that began to shift in the US as the Cold War developed and the American relationship to class was forced into the public eye. Roediger then explores how the neoliberal turn of the post-Cold War era saw the term take off in political discourse, boosted by Stanley Greenberg’s sway on the Clinton administration, as a way to appeal to white voters without actively discussing race. Next, they look into how the middle class is used in contemporary politics, with both parties coalescing around a definition during the early 2010s, and decentering the discussion of poor Americans, before touching on the role of SocDems, like Sanders and Warren, and how they must work to simultaneously address class and racial justice issues, and whether or not this appeal to total universality is actually as dangerous as centrist Dems might want you to think. They round out the free half with a conversation on the judicial confirmation process, looking into how supposedly liberal lawyers such as Neal Katyal bolster Mitch McConnell’s obstructionist strategies in order to garner favor among conservative judges.
And in the Fun Half: Nomiki Konst joins in for the most painful meninist hour as the crew covers Jimmy Dore’s monetization of misogyny and sexual harassment, and Thomas calls into debate about men’s rights – but like just from his perspective not with actual facts and figures. Next, Fox and Friends try to flip the script on teachers being good for our children, Mitch McConnell yanks off Manchin’s fig leaf of bipartisanship, exposing the horrors underneath, Kowalski in NE calls in with an agriculture report, and Marjorie Taylor Green finally recognizes the incomparability of the Holocaust, even if the Dems are still kinda national socialists in her mind. Plus, your calls and IMs!
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